Rest assured that most of us are screwed.
ALEC ended what should be by any measure an illegal gathering of businesses and state legislators in Washington DC Friday. Even though this is a meeting where legislators are conducting business of the states, there are no outsiders allowed in. No reports of what transpires is allowed. There is a better chance of light escaping a black hole than information escaping ALEC meetings.
From what has resulted from past meetings we can take an educated guess what it may mean for an Iowa where there is no way to stop Iowa Republicans control of all branches of government. The insane tax breaks for business, the handing over of taxpayer money to private businesses for questionable reasons, the gutting of our public education system and of course the disempowering of unions will be big on the agenda. All these are ALEC’s wish list items.
Not to say everything will be bad. Most likely we will get the ability to shoot our neighbors for no good reason. Or be shot by a neighbor with a gun and an attitude.
Oh, and some of us will lose our vote based on our heritage. Expect some attempt to take the vote away from college students in the cities where they go to school.
If you want to see what Iowa will look like in a couple of years just look at the mess called Kansas to our south and west. Just google “Kansas failed government” and there are a slew of hits. One from last May from Mother Jones magazine tells of government budgets wrecked, jobs fleeing the state and schools way underfunded. This will be Iowa if ALEC and legislative leaders get their way.
Now we find out that ALEC is not only creating legislation for government bodies below the federal level, thanks to Jim Hightower and inthesetimes.com that ALEC is also working diligently to have a constitutional convention called. The purpose of this convention will be to install the vision of the Koch Brothers as the basic laws of the United States.
A balanced budget amendment has long been a holy grail for the Right since the 1930s. In the 1980s, conservatives made a push for a balanced budget constitutional convention and, 20 years later, the idea was resurrected as part of the Tea Party platform. That’s when BBATF was formed (ed. note Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force) to carry the movement forward. With 16 resolutions held over from the previous wave of conservative activism, BBATF has since passed resolutions in Alabama (2011), New Hampshire (2012), Ohio (2013), Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Louisiana (2014), South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah (2015) and West Virginia (2016), bringing the total to 28. This year, BBATF is targeting 13 states: Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In six of these states Republicans control both legislative bodies and the governorship, making passage a real possibility and leaving BBATF one state shy of the magic 34.
A balanced budget amendment would greatly tie the federal government’s hands in times of crisis, especially depressions and recessions.
Last January, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed that he has penned NINE new amendments to the US Constitution. Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring our national government from The People to The Plutocrats. His “tweaks” would outlaw government actions that restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers, while also preventing future Congresses from meeting crucial public needs such as health care, voter rights, and restoration of our national infrastructure.
However, Abbott is not the force behind this tampering with our Constitution. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – at the direction of the Koch brothers and their corporate cohorts wrote Abboty’s Bill of Sale. Back in 2010, ALEC’s board of directors approved a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention to enact Abbott’s corporate humbuggery Abbott is now pushing.
Convening a convention, permitted under Article V of the Constitution, is a dream of those seeking an American Kochistan, and ALEC is spearheading a hodgepodge of right-wing groups that are close to succeeding. At the convention, they would attempt to rewrite our nation’s fundamental governing document. The changes would enthrone the “moneyed corporations” that Jefferson and other founders abhorred as destroyers of America’s democratic possibilities.
We actually believe that our government works in at least a shimmer of light. Now we find out that behind the scenes a private lobbying group (ALEC) has been working for years with legislators to bring about very fundamental change in our government without hearing anything about it.
If that doesn’t frighten you I don’t know what will.